All this wintery weather reminded me of a hike some friends and I went on about a year ago named Table Mountain on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. It has been labeled one of the harder day hikes in the gorge. The weather wasn’t what most people consider optimal. Personally, I love clear days, but I also love hiking in the rain with clouds moving in and out… it’s when places feel the most alive to me. As the hike promised, it was tough! Some nice steep climbing and rough terrain, but nothing I would consider dangerous. As we arrived at the top, the views were covered by the mist and the clouds. It felt spookily high when peering over the edge and not being able to see the ground below.
After enjoying the top, we began to make our way down. As we continued, the trail seemed to appear and disappear. through the snow and brush, leaving us wondering if we were still on the current trail. We were not! We ended up walking down the wrong side, losing the trail, the temperature dropping, the wind rising and the sun quickly dropping away. We walked up and down a access road beneath power lines looking for a clear way out. Without phone reception, we made our way to higher ground. Towards the top, we found a small window of reception and called 911. They were able to locate us and gave us directions on how to make our way down. Over three hours later, at close to 10:30pm, we made it off the trail! Thanks to our friends for meeting us at the trailhead and bring food and water. It was a much more epic hike than expected!